Vigorous Tree Bamboo with Edible Shoots
One of the hardiest tree bamboos, this species will take minus 5 F and flourish. The Latin species name vivax means long lived. This species is best known for its large diameter canes which are quickly produced in 3-5 years even growing to 5 inches in diameter in three years in a zone 7 climate. Its durability as well as use for the edible shoots make it an important timber species of bamboo.
In the winter of 2018-19 a record cold of -27 F was set at our barn. About 200 ft. away was the polyhouse that contained this species. No plants were damaged or lost during this cold snap. Some bamboo sources list this as a Zone 6a hardiness. Vivax has been one of the few species we can grow without it dying to the ground during the winter.
Vivax is a runner bamboo and it is considered highly stoloniferous. If you wish to keep it contained consider the 60 mil plastic as a liner around the planting. Runner bamboos are usually a little too much for residential landscapes so using a liner helps stop their spread via stolons. Our 2 year old plants can be transplanted year round and are highly rooted in paper pots. Image by Quarryhill Arboretum.
|Genus & Species||Phyllostachys vivax|
|Hardiness||Minus 5 F or colder.|
|Soil||Very durable even in shallow poor soil.|
|Climate||Zone 6ish-Zone 9|
|Ease of Cultivation||Super easy to establish. Like any stoloniferous bamboo, keep in mind the dimensions you want something to spread. But then spreading is a positive attribute if you using the canes for construction, an energy crop or the shoots for eating.|